The Marine Mammal Center

Last Saturday Alan, Maurice, Christina, and I decided to check out The Marine Mammal Center in Marin, very near the Golden Gate Bridge.  They wanted to check out an exhibit called “Washed Ashore” where artists use trash that has been washed ashore and turn them into works of art representing different marine life.

Getting there is pretty easy after taking the second exit after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge heading North.  It’s a nice little drive down the hill, but we were definitely not expecting this:

The reason for waiting so long is that it leads to a tunnel that has only one lane.  I have never seen that before so that was pretty interesting.  Once the light turned green we headed through the tunnel.

After another few minutes and keeping to the right at every fork, we finally made it.

This is a small educational center that does its best to rescue marine mammals that may have been injured, abandoned, or even poisoned because of the carelessness of people who litter or physically harm them.

The property is free of charge, but they do have a donation box with a $5.00 suggested donation.

The entrance had many statues of cute animals that looked so good, I even thought for a minute that they could be real.

Some of these are really cute, don’t you think?  Also I think these may actually be life-size even.

Now on to the art!

This is the first art piece at the entrance.  I won’t really explain what kind of trash is used for the exhibits, but I’m sure you can pick out what they are on your own.

These three are my favorites because not only are they cute, but you can actually see some personality in them.  Also, the Sea Star one had a rod that you could use to hit the glass bottles with to see if you could make music with it.  Very creative indeed.

Try saying that five times fast.

This one was also pretty amazing.  It’s made out of styrofoam and looks like the real thing.  What is sad is that there really is a lot of it floating around in the oceans and this exhibit extended throughout three walls, not just the portion that I pictured.

This looks like a skeleton of a whale.

The main reason this place exists is to bring refuge for marine mammals that had their life in danger.  You can pretty much call this place a hospital for them.  One of the employees is out by the viewing deck too keep an eye out of the resting animals as well as answer any questions visitors may have about them.  I learned that many of the animals are rescued within 600 miles of coast line in California, but will also receive any patients from as far as Washington or even Mexico, if need be.  It is very important to respect the animals while they recuperate so we are asked to keep the noise level down so we won’t disturb them while they rest.

Now time for some candid shots!

That’s Christina inside a jellyfish in the gift shop.

Me acting like a 5 year old.

How cool would it be if a real sea lion kissed me on the cheek?

I really don’t know what the heck that is, but I like the colors.

Then I realized how germ infested this exhibit is.  Come on, it’s trash!  What did you expect?

Alan took these pictures and I think they came out really nice.

This is so cute!  I wish the weather were nicer to us.  There is supposed to be a gorgeous view in the background, but you would never know because the fog is so thick.  I guess we need to come back and explore this place when summer in San Francisco actually arrives.

It was definitely a fun day and I learned a lot.  I think The Marine Mammal Center is doing a fantastic job in not only caring for the wounded animals, but in also raising awareness about pollution in our environment.  I wish more people would understand that all of these things don’t just affect humans, but all living things.  We need to work harder in caring for these beautiful creatures because we don’t want them to ever disappear because of our carelessness.  Another thing I was amazed about is that the artists who created these pieces are very creative.  Many of us would just look at a piece of trash as ugly, but these artists can turn them into something marvelous.

If you ever get a chance to visit this place, I highly recommend it.

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did writing it.

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About ajsrichantra

Simple things make me happy.
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